An incredible revolution is taking place in the technology, with women forming an increasing and crucial part of leadership and the entire technology workforce. As the tech classroom and the tech workforce continues to shift to being more gender-balanced, more women are eager to participate in the tech economy. With countless opportunities around coding, security, robotics, user experience, entrepreneurship, and design, women are gaining serious momentum very quickly.
We’ve come up with a short list of 10 women who have harnessed the world of technology to achieve immense success, create innovative products and inspire others. From founders of small startup companies to CEO’s of massive corporations, the power of women in technology is prevalent. We’d like to showcase a few.
Yoky Matsuoka – Vice President of Technology at Nest and Founder/President of YokyWorks
Matsuoka is in charge of the user interface and self-learning aspects of Nest’s thermostat – a technology that saves energy, keeps families safe and secure in their own homes. Beyond Nest, she is also known for her expertise and focus on robotics and neuroscience, with a passion for evolving more realistic prosthetics. Her company, YokyWorks provides engineering and research solutions for technologies that enhances the life experience for those with physical disabilities. Previously as the Head of Innovation at Google and a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington, Matsuoka has made a name for herself and continues to transform the tech industry.
Reshma Saujani – Founder & CEO of Girls Who Code
Reshma Saujani is the Founder of Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit organization that works to decrease the gender gap in technology while preparing young women for jobs of the future. So far, girls Who Code has taught over 10,000 young women software coding skills. Formerly, she was the Deputy Public Advocate of NYC. As Executive director of the Find for Public Advocacy, Saujani conjoined public and private sectors to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and necessity of civic engagement across NYC. Today, she has worked closely with industry leaders with a strong importance on closing the gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.
Lea Verou – Computer Scientist and Developer/Designer
Lea Verou is a computer scientist / web guru / front-end developer / web designer / speaker / author, originally from Greece. She is currently a Research Assistant at MIT CSAIL and an Invited Expert in the W3C CSS Working Group. She’s written a book on advanced CSS for O’Reilly, worked with W3C/MIT, has given 60+ invited talks around the globe, and even co-founded a Greek startup called Fresset Ltd (which she left in 2011). While she is a technical guru, she also thrives in her talent and passion of visual design as well.
Sue Black – Founder of Techmums and Bletchley Park Campaigner
Sue Black founded a company called Techmums, which is a social enterprise that strives to provide mothers with the confidence, skills and understanding they need to help them make the most of technology. Through her own education in technology, she was able to pull her family out of a chain of poverty, earn a decent living, and create a better future. She is eager to spread the word about how much of a difference education and confidence with technology can make towards having a fulfilling and supporting career.
Carey Kolaja – Vice President and Head of Global Consumer Products at PayPal
As Vice President of Global Consumer Products at PayPal, Carey Kolaja is responsible for upholding payPal’s global product vision in service to hundreds and millions of consumers around the world. She leads an international team charged with designing, deploying and operating global products and commercial strategies for all of Paypal’s products to effectively serve the local needs and interests of customers in each of the 203 markets that PayPal serves. She encourages women to never give up, be comfortable leading change and give yourself permission to go for what you want and voice it.
Clara Shih – New York Times Best Seller
Clarah Sigh developed the first business application on Facebook, writing a New York Times best-seller (The Facebook Era) and creating and evolving her two-year-old startup, Hearsay Social. Hearsay Social is a dashboard that helps companies manage their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google accounts. The predictive analytics technology helps salespeople reach out to clients while staying in compliance with industry regulations. Starbucks recently selected her to replace Facebook COO on its’ board of directors, and she has been named one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,” Fast Company’s “Most Influential People in Technology,” and BusinessWeek’s “Top Young Entrepreneurs”.
Cher Wang – Cofounder and Chairperson, HTC
Cher Wang is a Taiwanese entrepreneur, philanthropist and cofounder of HTC Corporation (which manufactured one out of every six smartphones sold in the United States). She is considered one of the most powerful and successful women in technology. Wang donated $28.1 million to help found Guizhou Forerunner College, a charitable college in southwest China setup by VIA Technologies’ non-profit Faith-Hope-Love Foundation. The not-for-profit college aims to provide three years of free or low-cost education to students from low-income families.
Weili Dai – Cofounder-President, Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
Chinese-born American businesswoman Weili Dai is president and co-founder of Marvell Technology Group. She is the sole female co-founder of a major semiconductor company and is considered one of the most successful female entrepreneurs worldwide, with an estimated net worth of over $1 billion. She is currently listed as the “95th Most Powerful Woman in the World” by Forbes. She was also on their list of America’s Self-Made Women this year.
Virginia “Ginni” Rometty – CEO of IBM
Virginia “Ginni” Rometty is an American business executive. She is the current Chairwoman, President and CEO of IBM, and the very first woman to head the company. She has been named Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” for ten consecutive years, ranking #1 in 2012. She serves on the Council on Foreign Relations; the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University; and the Board of Overseers and Board of Managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Beth Beck – Open Innovation Program Manager at NASA
As Open Innovation Program Manager and Office of the Chief Information Officer at NASA, Beth Beck’s main responsibility is opening up the vast troves of NASA data to the public. Even as the agency works to release all its data since 1958, she is constantly trying to figure out how to help NASA adapt to a new data-driven landscape. She is passionate about public service and views innovation and collaboration as tools to challenge the bureaucratic status quo.
Who’s the most inspiring woman in tech?
It’s no doubt that this questions is up for some serious debate – but we’re curious! From your perspective, who is the most inspiring woman in the tech industry?